Newspaper reports on fluctuations of the U.S. dollar on foreign currency exchanges have been moving up from their customary place in the back business section to front-page prominence. This increasing newsworthiness reflects a growing awareness that the almost year-long downward slide in the international value of the dollar is not simply a technical adjustment or a temporary by-product of money market speculation. In reality the gyrations of the international currency markets are surface manifestations of a growing trade rivalry among the leading capitalist nations, the result of a competitive struggle that has been warming up ever since the long post-Second World War prosperity wave of world capitalism began to subside. The manipulation of exchange rates in the ensuing stage of stagnation has been both cause and effect of a spreading protectionism which shows all the classic signs of impending trade wars.
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